Introduction: Full-Sized Cardboard Skeeball Machine

About: I like to make, create, and design all types of things.

I wanted to make a skeeball machine, but I did not have the resources or tools to make a wood one. I still wanted a full-sized skeeball machine, and I wanted to make it look presentable. So, I decided to make it out of cardboard. This is full-sized, so its total length is 9 ft.

This instructable does not have precise instructions, because a lot of what I did was not incredibly precise; it's very hard cutting cardboard super accurately and straight. If you build it, there will probably be problems you run into, like miscutting or cardboard being hard to work with it, but the end product is worth it. The video below was for a presentation at school, but it helps show what I did maybe a bit better than words.


For this project, you will need:

a lot of cardboard (I got 35 sheets of 6 by 3 and I had a lot extra) Packaging Price is a great, cheap place for cardboard

an acrylic sheet sized 20" by 32" link

LOTS of hot glue sticks and hot glue gun

LOTS of Duct tape

Air duct 4" wide (about 25 feet) link

3" wide wooden balls link

A long straight edge

Masking tape for holding the straight edge in place

A utility knife

Canary cutting knife link and zip snip link (optional but will make the project way easier and quicker)

Some scrap wood or pvc pipe

A golf ball, a small tension spring, and a

Step 1: Make the Sidewalls

Glue enough cardboard sheets together to make 2 sheets that are 4 sheets thick, 6.5 feet long, 3 ft tall.

Draw a dot on the left side of one sheet that is 1.5 feet tall. On the right size, draw a dot 2ft up. Cut a line from dot to dot.

You now have 2 sheets--one big one that has an incline of 6 inches, and another smaller piece. Count 4 inches down from the top of the big sheet, and line up the edges of the small sheet and the big sheet. Glue the top of the small sheet at the 4-inch mark on the big sheet, using Elmer's glue. Make sure the incline on both sheets are going upwards

Repeat this with the 2 other sheets you have.

Step 2: Make the Runway

Cut out a few cardboard sheets, and make a sheet that is 46 inches long and 20 wide. Yours might not be this long, but my acrylic sheet was 32 inches, and the entire runway was going to be 78 inches (6.5 feet). The runway should be 2 sheets thick, except for the last part of it. On one side of the runway, it should be one sheet thick for however long your ramp is. Score this part, because it will be glued to the ramp

Step 3: Ramp+Runway Combo

Find a picture of a ramp online, and scale it so it's 4 inches long. Print and cut it out, then trace and cut it out of cardboard sheets until the thickness of the sheets equals 20 inches. Glue all of these together. I did not cut crazy accurate, so I had to sand it down, but you may not have to. Glue the scored part of the runway sheet to the ramp you just made. Now, you should have a runway that has a ramp at the end of it.

Take your 2 sidewalls and make the support walls facing each other, inwards. They should be standing vertically, you might need a large trashcan or something that it can lean against so it stands independently. Glue the runway on top of the supports, with the ramp flush against the backside of the side walls.

Step 4: Make and Position the Lanes

Make a 6.5 feet long sheet that holds 4 walls up vertically. The walls should be 6 inches tall. Each wall should be 5 inches apart. Cut the sheet back 5 inches, but do NOT cut the lanes, they need to be longer than the sheet itself, but 6.5 feet in all

For the next step, you probably need two people. Hole the lane sheet up to the runway, so it's pushing up against it. Glue the supports below the lane to the sidewalls, so it can hold the lanes up.

Step 5:

Step 6:

Step 7: Lever+Acrylic

Now, glue the acrylic sheet at the front of the runway, where there should be room for it. If you measured correctly, the acrylic should line up with the very front of the skeeball machine. You should be able to see the end of the lanes below the clear acrylic.

Build a cardboard sheet that is 5 inches long and 19 and 7/8 inches wide. Tape this to the end of the lane sheet, with duct tape on both sides.

It's hard to explain in text, but I show the lever mechanism I made in the video at the start. Build a lever, and you can do what I show in the vid

Step 8: Make the Targets and Target Side Walls

cut 4 rectangles that measure 33 by 58 inches. Draw a dot 30 inches up on the right side, and draw a dot on the very top 12 inches from the left side. Cut this line out and glue the 4 smaller pieces together, and the 4 large pieces together. The top of the triangle should line up with the top of the sidewall, but it should be 3 inches from the edge of the right side of the side wall. The right side is where the incline starts at its lowest point.

Repeat this for the other side wall.

Cut out a sheet 20 by 34, and trace circles where you want the targets to use. I would recommend using a lid of some type

Cut it out using the canary knife.

Find the circumference of the circles, and cut out rectangles that are 1.75 inches by the circumference of your circles. Score one side of the rectangles. Cut out the amount of rectangles you have of circles. I had 6. Glue the rectangles around each circle, using hot glue. If you are going to have some of the circles have ramps that lead into them, the rectangles should be glued flush with the top of the cardboard sheet. If you are going to make the ramps that lead into the target circles, I would use the same scoring strategy and hot glue them on

Step 9: Combine the Sidewalls and Add Tubing

Take your two target sidewalls and glue the target sheet onto the supports you should have glued to the side walls. This should hold it together, but I had to glue a pvc pipe between the two sidewalls at the bottom. Take your air duct, and duct tape or glue it to the back of the target sheet, behind each circle cutout. for the two 100's at the top, I had to make them sort into one pipe. All the pipes should lead to the front of sidewalls, and be level with the lanes from the entire runway part of the build. I used duct tape to position the pipes behind the lanes, but it required a lot of adjusting it so the balls would not get stuck in between the lanes and pipes.

Step 10: Push It Together and Play!

Now, you should have 2 big cardboard objects; one that has all the targets, and one that is the runway. Since they are the same width, they should just push together pretty well. You can play now!!

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